"Carrier of Time" is a joint exhibition on Taiwan's magnificent national treasures and antiquities. It will run from Feb. 27 to Aug. 27 at the Taichung-based Cultural Heritage Park, bringing the nation's rich and colorful past to life in a way that audiences around the nation will be able to enjoy and appreciate in one venue.
Organized by the Bureau of Cultural Heritage, "Carrier of Time" features a total of 29 national treasures, two antiquities, and a piece categorized as general antiquity. The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of workshops to provide more historical context for the displayed items. Through showcasing relics that tell stories of the remarkable people and events that shaped Taiwan, the Bureau hopes to raise social awareness and interest for preservation efforts.
The relics were curated around the themes of prehistoric jade-carving techniques, the cultural significance of ancestral pillars carved by Taiwanese indigenous tribes, and the aesthetics of traditional craftsmanship that can only be seen at temples.
Viewers will also gain an understanding of how Japan's colonial rule influenced the Taiwanese arts world. Meanwhile, books and documents that provide first-hand information pertaining to the game-changing moments in Taiwan's history will also be on display.
This exhibition is composed of seven themed sections — "General Introductions," "Symbols and Eternity," "Ancestral Spirits and Folklores," "Craftsmanship," "Fine Arts and Contemporary Arts," "Deconstruction and Reform," and "From Cultural Relics to National Treasures."
Accompanied by a "storytelling" area where preservers of the nation's intangible cultural assets will be sharing stories of the displayed national treasures, the sections will unfold with a glimpse of prehistoric ingenuity illustrating how jade ornaments were made from natural materials by hand then.
Next up is a dedicated section on the carved pillars of Taiwan's indigenous peoples that represent their respective ancestral beliefs and tribal myths. Visitors will also learn about Han Chinese settlements in Taiwan and how a number of temples and religion-related crafts have thrived over time.
The exhibition will also shed light on the immediate years after the end of Japanese rule, when a generation of Taiwanese artists prospered. The first round of featured artists are Huang Tu-shui (黃土水, 1895 - 1931), Lin Yu-shan (林玉山, 1907 - 2004), Chen Cheng-po (陳澄波, 1895 - 1947), Chang Da-chien (張大千, 1899 - 1983), and Pu Hsin-yu (溥心畬, 1896 - 1963).
Highlights of the exhibition also include high-end digital replicas of two items from the Taipei-based National Museum of History's collections — "Tomb Inscription of the Ming-dynasty Prince Lu (皇明監國魯王壙誌)" and "The Ten Gibbons (十猿圖)" by master painter and calligrapher Pu.
The centuries-old tombstone, which was designated as a national treasure in 2011, was discovered in the east side of Kinmen Island's old Jinchen (舊金城). Though the tombstone was slightly damaged, the inscription chronicling the life of Zhu Yihai (朱以海, 1618-1662), who was Prince of Lu during the Ming Dynasty, remains largely legible.
"The Ten Gibbons," meanwhile, was recognized as a significant antiquity in 2013. The lovingly painted picture successfully captured their physical appearance as well as their vibrant and mischievous personality, for these tailless apes were Pu's favorite animals and a great source of inspiration.
Originally opened on Feb. 27, "Carrier Of Time" was suspended during March and April to help curb the spread of COVID-19. The exhibition will reopen to the public on May 8.
‘Carrier Of Time’
• Date: Feb. 27 – Aug. 27, 2020
• Venue: R04, Cultural Heritage Park
• Address: No. 362 Fuxing Rd. Section 3, South District, Taichung City, Taiwan (ROC)
• Site: https://tccip.boch.gov.tw/Activity_detail?id=1612&ATID=1